Get to Know David Portney, Sr. SEO Manager
Published: September 8, 2016
Author: Hillary Read
In today’s Humans of 3Q, we meet Portland’s finest: Sr. SEO Manager David Portney!
What’s the first metric you check when you start the day?
Organic conversions. Then organic traffic. Then, the least important metric I check is keyword rankings, because you can’t take rank to the bank. Of the three, conversions are a true business metric and therefore the most important KPI. Conversions means the business gets to do things like make payroll; rankings and traffic don’t.
What is your favorite advertising campaign?
“Diet Coke”. That’s pure genius, those 2 words together. I wish I could have been in the room when the person who originated that idea brought it up in a meeting – that room must have completely fallen apart.
What’s one marketing lesson you wished you had learned earlier?
Don’t be afraid to ask what you think are stupid or obvious questions. No one likes to look like they’re dumb or haven’t done their homework/research, but it’s far better to get at the real information you need than to worry about whether someone will think you’re stupid. I still struggle with not wanting to look stupid – sometimes it’s hard to swallow your pride and risk appearing ignorant – but it’s far worse to not get at the important information that can better assist clients to reach their marketing goals.
What one quality do you think is most important in successful digital marketers today?
Adaptability. Especially in SEO where something new is always happening, but it’s true on the paid side too.
What is your favorite thing to brag about at 3Q?
I do have a few faves – not the least of which is the incredibly smart, interesting, upbeat, fun, talented people who work here. But if I had to pick just one thing to brag about 3Q, it’s that the company really walks its talk – the values of 3Q are not hollow phrases hypocritically forced down an employee’s throat as it can be in some businesses. In my experience, it’s rare to find a company that truly embraces its own set of values and demonstrates them from top to bottom, and those values really resonate with me as well.
What is your motivation to come into work every day?
First, I really enjoy my profession. In a lot of ways, SEO is like being a detective; there’s always something that’ll make you scratch you head and wonder how or why – you have to figure it out. Also, and this may sound cheesy, but I know that helping businesses to reach their marketing goals creates a positive ripple effect – employees get hired (or stay employed) and make salaries, which keeps the economy spinning, the customers of the businesses derive the benefit of those products/services, and so on… it’s a positive cycle of win/win/win, or at least that’s the way I see it.
Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized horses, or one horse-sized duck?
Yikes. 100 tiny horses sound so cute… what would they do, try to bite you or turn their backs and kick? Seems like they’d be easier to take out one by one. That one big duck might make for a real struggle (ever been accosted by an angry goose? I have!).
Hot dogs or hamburgers?
What is on your bucket list?
To have a bucket list.
What is your favorite thing to do outside of work?
I’ve always wanted to play guitar so badly, and I can tell you for sure that dreams really do come true, because my dream came true; I can play guitar so badly.